words from the "home & garden" desk

Pitter, patter, dig, plant, mow, sow, shovel, rake, hoe, scrape, paint, pound, hang, fix, mix, measure, tape, sweep, sleep… repeat. Home ownership is fun that way.

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Not Contrary At All

It is supposed to be thirty degrees today. If you’re reading this from the US, I should note that I’m getting pretty tired of writing Celsius on the end of my temperatures so as not to confuse you further, so I’m officially phasing out my unit conversion service, trimming back the excess overgrowth and organic creep, just like I did in my flowerbed for and hour and a half last night. On hands and knees I clipped a good five centimeters of overreaching lawn from the edging around my tulip farm. With this and the other winter dead fall I filled nearly an entire composting bag… from one flower bed. It looks darn good, even though it has yet to fully emerge for the season, but it makes me realize just how much yardwork I have to do in the coming weeks to catch up. Can you believe we had ten centimeters of snow less than two weeks ago?

Renovation-fest ’16, Part 2.5

December 21 I don’t want to make a big deal about it quite yet because there is still a lot to do before the project can be considered finished, done, and final. But a milestone today: we have water. Heaps of work, a deconstruction, mending walls, replacing floors, and then watching the cabinets assemble into something that finally got topped with a beautiful slab of stone that is now my countertop. And then today, as if just to insist progress is being made, Leon’s friend the plumber patched in a new drain and water line, connecting the sink into a glorious circuit of aquatic wonder. You take these things for granted, and then one day you remove it and… well, it seems like a big step to be able to wash dishes in our kitchen once again. Still so much fiddly work: more cabinetry, a backsplash, and hundreds of five minute jobs to finalize and complete the work… but it’s getting there.

Probably shoveling. Yeah, shoveling snow is so awesome. It's the best. You should come over next time it snows. I'll let you try it. Just don't tell anyone else how awesome it is.
a sums & pieces for 19 Dec 02016

holidays & gatherings | home & garden 

11 Dec 02016 | a few seconds of your time

It’s that time of year again. The holidays. Gush.

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home & garden | money & spending 

5 Dec 02016 | 3 minutes of your time

“How would I go about getting 42 more of these?” I ask, assuming it was not necessarily a stupid question.

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Assuming no snags with the renovation progress, having a sink in our kitchen again.
a sums & pieces for 1 Dec 02016
...that installing laminate flooring is easy, but installing it well is an art form.
a sums & pieces for 29 Nov 02016
Renovation Update

The great home renovation project of 2016 has met another milestone: we’re now waiting. Waiting for cabinet doors. Waiting for quartz. Waiting for things to happen that are pretty much out of our control. We did the last big project on Saturday, the part where I drill a six-inch-wide hole in the side of our house because the existing vent for the fume hood was much too low for either usability or legality. I installed a brand new vent nearly a foot higher on the wall and then patched up the old vent because, well, it was no longer required. We started doing some cleanup, too, and we’ve effectively moved back into the dining room and the living room and it only partially feels like a construction zone in the house these days. Leon’s eyes got really wide when Karin told him that she’d invited friends over for New Years Eve: yeah, we should be done, probably, mostly, yeah, you can host a party here… there will be a few things to do, but good enough to have people over. I think that as long as we have a sink, that should do nicely.

home & garden 

21 Nov 02016 | 2 minutes of your time

I clocked a good 16 hours measuring, cutting, snapping, tapping, and otherwise nudging into place little strips of laminate board.

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home & garden 

24 Oct 02016 | 3 minutes of your time

We are doing the demolition. We are doing the painting. We are installing the floors.

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Between marathon training and kicking off a major renovation project, probably the "sleep" icon... if only I could actually click it.
a sums & pieces for 20 Oct 02016
Had a new Shop Vac delivered from Amazon: renovating your house is messy business, as it turns out.
a sums & pieces for 19 Oct 02016

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